Thomson High Schools Casper Brinkley takes down Troup County quarterback Tyler Wynn in the Bulldogs 35-0 win Saturday in the Class AAAA football playoffs.
Photo by Chris Thelen THOMSON, Ga. - Demarco McNair found himself in a familiar position Saturday night at The Brickyard.
The Thomson running back shouldered the load for the Bulldogs' offense - rushing 24 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns in Thomson's 35-0 drubbing of Troup County 35-0 in the Georgia Class AAAA playoffs.
After putting Thomson ahead 7-0 at halftime, McNair added an 8-yard score with 3:32 left and scored the game's final points with a 1-yard plunge with less than a minute remaining.
"He's an outstanding football player," said Thomson coach Luther Welsh, whose team collected 372 rushing yards. "Somebody will get an outstanding football player in college next year. I don't know who that will be, but they better come down here in a hurry."
Thomson quarterback Deon Palmer also lauded McNair. Palmer completed three of six passes, including a 19-yard touchdown strike to Bromecus Hordens and then scored from the 1-yard line on a fourth-and-goal.
"... Demarco's a horse," Palmer said. "He gives 100 percent on every play. He's more of a leader on this team than I am."
The 11-0 Bulldogs also relied heavily on their defense to keep them atop the state's Class AAAA rankings. Thomson allowed just 99 total yards, including 40 in the second half.
"From the interior to the linebackers," said senior defensive end Jasper Brinkley, "everybody just flowed to the ball."
When the Bulldogs got there, they created havoc for the Tigers (6-5). Thomson held Troup's leading rusher, Maurice Grier, to 29 yards and 13 carries.
In response, the Tigers drove past midfield three times, and they never crossed Thomson's 35-yard line.
"That's where our strength is," said Welsh, whose team will play host to Ware County in the second round Friday. "If you have a good defense, you'll win a lot of football games."
That attitude - and a quick-strike offense - is exactly what the Bulldogs needed against Troup.
"They had a lot of good speed in the secondary and the linebackers," Welsh said. "We could break (a run), but they could catch up. I knew coming in that it was going to be one of our toughest games of the year."
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